Baltimore Ravens: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Steelers Game
It all started out so nicely for the Baltimore Ravens.
They were returning home after picking up back-to-back road wins in Pittsburgh and San Diego and facing a Pittsburgh Steelers club that was missing its two best quarterbacks, one of their key linebackers and their best cornerback.
They led 13-3 at one point in the second quarter and had forced the Steelers into back-to-back three-and-outs on defense.
Yet from there, it all came apart.
By the end of the game, they had given up a mind-boggling 276 yards to third-string QB Charlie Batch and lost their home winning streak, as well as their winning streak against fellow AFC North foes.
So what happened?
Here's the good, the bad and the ugly from Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Good: Running Game
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The bright spot of the loss to the despised Pittsburgh Steelers?
The Ravens running game.
Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce both had a nice afternoon, averaging 6.5 and 4.25 yards per carry, respectively.
Ironically, on the day that the Ravens running game seemed to excel, they only called for 16 running plays between Pierce and Rice (more on that later).
Heading into Washington next week, the Ravens will hopefully decide to hand the ball off to their most explosive player a bit more (or a lot more), especially if he plays the way he did today.
The Bad: The Defense
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The fact that third-string Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch outshined Joe Flacco in Baltimore not only indicates that Flacco has found a way to struggle at home, but that the defense simply did not do their job properly.
While the pass defense did an impressive job early on against the Steelers receivers, they had a tough time containing receivers on deep passes and gave up 97 yards and a touchdown to tight end Heath Miller, on just five receptions.
What's worse is that Charlie Batch would have easily eclipsed 300 yards passing if Emmanuel Sanders could've held onto a caught ball that he somehow fumbled without ever being touched by a Ravens defender.
When it came to the Steelers running game, the Ravens only gave up 96 yards, but they had major problems tackling both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman as the two of them combined averaged nearly four yards per carry.
The Ugly: Cam Cameron's Play-Calling
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Cam Cameron's performance as Baltimore's offensive coordinator has gone from bad to downright ugly.
His play-calling is beyond baffling, not to mention extremely predictable.
Week after week he continues to call either deep passes or runs up the middle on first down, with very little variance.
When those consistently fail, he leaves Joe Flacco with unmanageable third downs, especially since the offensive line has a hard time protecting Flacco.
Even more puzzling was Cam's decision to give Ray Rice just 12 rushing attempts today, despite Rice racking up 78 yards—an average of 6.5 yards per carry.
He also averaged over four yards per carry, picking up 34 yards on eight carries.
It may be time for the Ravens and Cam Cameron to go their separate ways.